Los Angeles

Visiting Choir From Mexico City Stopped by Department of Homeland Security

The group of singers, all of them visa holders, was stopped by DHS over music sheets in their luggage.

A choir of gay men traveling from Mexico City almost didn’t make it to their scheduled rehearsal in Los Angeles Sunday night due to a dispute with the Department of Homeland Security.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Mexico City fought immigration at Houston’s Hobby Airport and feared getting their visas taken away.

Jonathan Weedman, executive director of Gay Men's Chorus said the problem stemmed because DHS was suspicious about the purpose of the music sheets found in the men’s luggage.

The men knew they could be sent back to Mexico regardless of their tourists visas. “The worst part would be that they [DHS] take their visas for five years,” said chorus’ member Oscar Urtusastegui.

After a 13 minute call with DHS in Houston and the chorus’ host in Los Angeles, the situation was solved, but Weedman feels the controversy over the music sheets was unnecessary.

“I’m very sorry these fine men who had visas and nothing to hide, “said Weedman, “were detained and frightened, frankly, by our immigration services.”

The chorus is set to perform Saturday alongside the Gay Men’s chorus of Los Angeles and the Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles at the Alex Theatre.

VIP tickets are already sold out, but single tickets can be purchased here.

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